NAVY. Achilles.

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NAVY. Achilles. [Christchurch], Whitcombe and Tombs, [c. 1946].

Small 4to. Original illustrated wrappers; pp. 63; illustrated after photographs; wrappers a little frayed, otherwise good.
First edition, very rare. 'A Leander-class light cruiser, HMS (later HMNZS) Achilles displaced 7270 tons, measured 555 ft (169 m) in length and was capable of 32 knots. It was armed with eight 6-inch (152 mm) guns in four turrets, four 4-inch (102 mm) secondary guns and eight 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, and also carried a seaplane. Following its role in the Battle of the River Plate, Achilles underwent repairs in Auckland before escorting troop convoys and operating against Japanese forces in the southwest Pacific. During operations with US Navy forces off Guadalcanal on 5 January 1943, the ship was damaged by a Japanese air attack that killed 13 crewmen. While undergoing repairs in Portsmouth in June that year, an accidental explosion killed several dock workers and caused further damage. In 1945 Achilles joined the British fleet in the Pacific. The ship reverted to Royal Navy control in 1946 and two years later was transferred to the Royal Indian Navy, becoming INS Delhi. It was finally scrapped in 1976' (New Zealand History, online).
In the preface the un-named author explains, that 'it was decided to produce some form of written evidence of our travels and experiences … What follows, then, is in the main the story of our commission told in an unsophisiticated manner by the ships officers and men' (p. 9).
We were not able to locate a single copy in COPAC.